MEDIA LAB PRADO – URMALA JASSAL
Friday 22nd July 2011 — posted by lorna
Day 1 – 26th June 2011
The journey started for me from the moment I reached Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport – it should be called a city not an airport the City Of Charles De Gaulle. One has to be very quick as there are many terminals and many shuttles to catch! For foodies it’s a dream and I could not believe that there was an outlet selling “vegetarian food” no less what a pleasant surprise.
So once reaching Spain like Tas I was quite bemused that there is no passport control – I wonder if it’s because the airline attendant checks all passport’s that are not from Spanish citizens before embarking Paris – Madrid? Having arrived in the scorching sun 38 degrees I opted to get a taxi to collect the keys for the apartment, the driver only spoke French so I got by and managed to be dropped off at the end of Calle de San Marcos – with large suitcase in tow I walked back and forth, back and forth on the cobbled narrow street surrounded by sex shops and men hanging around the corners – (Clayton where have you sent me?), luckily I got a break and found number 3 hidden on a door buzzer that had no Friendly Rentals sign hanging off the door. Phew – got keys walked to apartment – Victor Hugo St at least I can pronounce that and dumped my things walked around the corner looking for the Chinese shop to buy essentials but instead came across Starbucks – happy days.
Day 2 – 27th June 2011
Incredible banging and noise from outside the street till the early hours what felt and sounded like a trail of military tankers driving over the cobbles was in fact the bin men. I awoke and my pastry, water and yoghurt had frozen in the fridge – no caffeine I rushed out with a swig of aqua con gas (fizzy water) – not good. Made my way to Media Lab Prado and knew instantly that I was heading in the right direction because of Tas’s insightful portrayal of the CaixaForum Building – that was situated opposite the lab – upon turning the corner I was taken aback and was not expecting to see people sleeping in the open space which very much reminded me of India. Coming in to the tail end of the Visualizer#11 conference has it’s minuses and pluses.
Not being here at the outset means that you miss out on the beginning of the journey of the development and legwork that’s required to get to the stage of presenting the data visualization prototypes, but on the plus side you get to be part of the intense final week and get to the see the fruits of the data vis labour! I meet various members of the team as they are arriving and am introduced to Laura my supervisor – instantly I feel at home, I am told that there is a 1.30pm set of presentations of the work in progress, good have time to swat up on this. In the mean time I intervene on a conversation from a guy from Portugal and a guy from China (don’t know their names at this stage) about crowdsourcing and how in practice it really does work. They are blissfully unaware that they are presenting today until I tell them – ahh it’s good to talk!
The projects and their presentations; 1.30pmish
Mercamadrid: a visual topology of the food net flow by Cesar Garcia Saez and Montserrat Canedo Madrid – premise is to answer basic questions about consumption habits.
A visual atlas of innovation in Spain – Alberto, Rocio – premise is to discover how innovation effects society’s development by comparing innovation regional hubs with their wealth level, industrial production index or unemployment rate.
Reveal It: by Nina, Juan, Pablo and Penelope objective is to provide citizens with ways to discover and reveal data about their use of ubiquitous energy networks by playful, displaying attractive and insightful visualizations in their shared environment, encouraging understanding and reflection.
Ruling Class Studies by Marcel
Aims to produce critical theoretical instruments to measure the political, ethical and professional accountability of Google, Facebook, Amazon and ebay – to their proclaimed missions and advertised practices and to a world where their monopolies are taking root.
From Extraction to Reaction by Christopher Pandolfi and Tom Schofield (UK rep)
I’m Hungry what to do next by Tian Li from China
Builds 2 mobile applications – one to help you on producing your own food and another to take sustainable consumer decisions based on your location.
Where do I come from and where am I Going? By De Beatriz Irene
Aim of this proposal is to generate a reflection about the negative impacts that the consumer culture produced into human health natural eco systems and no renewal resources.
Experiments in Infrastructural Ontography by John Calvelli
Premise of this is infrastructure is to the city as our ontological being is to our lives. As we forget being itself is our focus on our being in the world, we ignore infrastructure as we live in our urban lives. Aim is present the infrastructural being of the city of Madrid. This is heavy!
PWRT – The psycho economy war room table by Guastavo from Argentina
Aim is to try and display the relationship between 2 or more countries in the world in terms of some specific social and economic variables. The proposal builds on a metaphor of the table of the war room, the room where discussions of possible tactical moves in military confrontation – this project uses multi touch surface, reacTIVision and fiducials.
Art on the move – DROMOART by Arquitectura Expandida (Ana), Microgramma (Elisa Mandiola)
Intends to visualize the infrastructures of art. It tries to make visible the itinerancies of various works of art from 4 Spanish museums. Aims to reveal the process, archives and collections of the museums as well as the variations that take place in the art market and the valuation and revaluation process through their relationship with the movements and circulation of the works of art.
Check back soon for the rest of Urmala’s media lab story and more pictures!